Two Speeches that were Too
True for the Political Boss
to Allow Published
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
THE GENERAL LIBRARIES
This Item is Due on the Latest Date Stamped
A Speech of a United States
Senator and a Paper of a
Copyrighted 190S by Bascom Kavanaugh, State Agent, S24 Market Street,
Galveston, Texas _ , , ..... ■ * • ■ «
In submitting these speeches to the reading; public, we do not believe
we are committing a crime, but we leave you to be the judge of that.
We have purposely withheld the Senator's and Professor's names for
fear of some misunderstanding with party leaders, I have obtained
permission to publish these speeches provided no names were given.
The composers of these speeches intended them for publication, but
the party boss decided to assign them to oblivion. The story of the
speeches is easily told.
During the last Session of Congress a bill was introduced which had
for its purpose the checking of the South's efforts to disfranchise the
Negroes. The Republicans claimed that the South was openly denying
the Negroes the right which the Fifteenth Amendment of the Consti-
tution guaranteed them. The Bill was brought in in due and ancient
form and, after the preliminaries, was referred to a committee.
Both sides expected a favorable report and made haste to arrange
for the coming debate. The southern Senator selected to champion
the opposition began at once preparing his speech. When he had finished
writing the speech, he sent it to me with two requests. First,
that I should make a copy of the speech and hold it in readinessforpuibli-
cation as soon as it was delivered in the Senate.
But the Bill miscarried in committeej therefore! the Senator never
delivered his speech. I sent in the oration, with explanation to my
paper, the Editor wished to publish an abbreviated form of the speech
as the Senator's opinion upon the race problem; but after consulting
the party leader, it was decided to say no more about it.
The second speech had a singular fate. A prominent Texas educator
read this paper before the Conference of Education. The paper was
given to me to send in for publication. I sent it in. After the manu-
script was sent, the professors concluded that in face of the coming
primary election, it would be best to withdraw the paper. The paper
You have the whole story in a nutshell.
Just one more word of explanation — my reasons for publishing these
speeches. I want the common people — folks like you and me — to see
how the Party Bosses run the Party Machinery. I contend that the
boss and his machine are enemies to reform. By dictating to our states-
men and culling every speech they make, we common people are fed on
skimmed milk. We never know the true state of affairs, unless we get
on the inside circle, then, we have to keep quiet or lose our pie.
I believe after you have read this pamphlet, you will agree with me in
pronouncing these speeches worthy of publication. The honorable
gentlemen have struck the key note, and we do hope, trust, and pray
that they will muster up the moral courage to continue the music.
THE SENATOR'S PROPOSED SPEECH UPON THE
'Mj. Prp;iidei!.t, ■ I am, greatly surprised that a bill so obviously uncon-
stitutioaalv.,^: ole-arly ^contradictory to the laws and traditions of this
nation,' should came -up for deliberation in this august body. When
I learned that this bill had passed into the hands of the committee,
'I. .fell;, stfre 'Lhcie. wculd -be^no further action taken; but, alas! how little
we can divide .of t'he ff*i£&r.e.; The State laws, the Constitution, the
Holy Writ itself is nut respect-id by this administration, when a measure
is calculated to influence a few votes for the Mighty One's Elect. Sir,
whether we expected it or not, the bill is before us, therefore, I crave
your indulgence for consuming your time discussing this measure.
My surprise at the author's audacity does not allay my fears of the
baneful results should this bill become a law. Knowing the temper of
my fellow countrymen in the South, and seeing the destructive effect
this measure would have on their cherished social system, I feel justified
in entertaining the gravest misgivings. Indeed, sir, this is not a light
subject, nor, should we treat it indifferently. Our nation is a unit; it
is one body composed of many parts; if one member is injured, the whole
must suffer with it. How you can work calmly on in obedience to the
commands of your lord and master of the Big Stick, though he dictates
laws that threaten the destruction of the nation, is more than I can
Is some great calamity going to befall us, or what are we afraid of?
It does not take a great statesman to descry a crisis coming. From
the slums of the cities of the North, from the anarchical hordes of de-
graded foreigners of the West, and from the millions of black beasts
of the South come unmistakable evidence of destructive forces at work
undermining the foundation of our free government. The breach is
growing wider and deeper; the pacific strata are trembling under their
own weight; the collapse is inevitable; the shock will jar the government
from center to circumference, and fortunate will we be if we are not
submerged by the wave of evil that will roll in upon us.
If the danger is so manifest, you ask, how shall we subvert the crisis?
The remedy is simple. Remove the cause, Now, I know the learned
gentleman from New York, who has so ably entertained you with his
lengthy discussion of the pending bill, will discredit a treatment so
simple. He prefers to experiment with a more complicated compound.
Give the dose the gentleman prescribes, and you will only be aggravating
the disease. The remedy I shall shortly prescribe is not a new one, for
it has been advocated by my fellow countrymen for the last one hundred
years. For, indeed, sir, we cannot hope to cure this evil in a fortnight,
but we can remove the cause of the trouble, then patiently wait for
time and nature to heal our prostrated country.
this year what they did the last, m W© « ^T^^dent, traveling by
"It took thousands of years for *™1°™I°1 ^Cxnv who are not
siavery » .wrong £ /o tos ^ | hour ther e^ma^ ^
J^X S3K S«-^ to review bHefiy Ms
'"two" hundred eighty-nine year* ago to = first «^ Wg«
the colonies were sold by a butch ship .captain to a vm P mark
Those twenty Negroes, exchanged by the capla n i } ^
the beginning of the nations gr eatest an. uii, my j
when shall we atone for the tr ansgr e s o of ou ^£ers gene ration,
sin has been visited upon w ft* the , tin*, yea *£*££* of slaves
^rSXa^S^ S >aves were to be found
from Massachusetts to Georgia.
If at erst slave, were found in ^>^^^£UsL
gradually disappear ^ fl ^ ^o^w^iii^b^^y^^ ^
until they reached millions? 1 here _ were T ^ v f^ roduct j ve rQC ky hills
two sections differ in soil and c imato ^he ^product™ ro^ ^
of New England, together with the cold ™^ rs ^ £^g? industries,
possible. Commerce and ^^^^L^ J^o fcmlri the intel-
£or these the Negro was suited. The Africans « > too 10
P XS-do we find the Negroes ™£^™ %£$£%%!>
above reasons, but a second cause is found m "<e mneren ce ^^
themselves. The people of the Nor th were g e »^ ' * ^ were
?Ti?vSn ^ r rA*£o?t£\^^ tlim as the nosing
link between man and monkey. *--w1mw1
It was a long time before the Yankee's »«™ ^
because of the immorahty of shiver y , The ge ^ ron u ^
so bitterly assails the ^^^^^'^a^Xing the past. I
SS&ttM ^-SWiSSffi- vf/afeVthe Spanish
colonies with African slaves between 1566 and 1580. An English com
pany got the Asienta, or privilege of carrying slaves to the Spanish West
Indies by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713. And all the good Puritans of
New England thanked God, that they, too, should share some of the
benefits of this godly treaty, by being permitted to engage in this human
traffic It was reserved for South Carolina to be the first colony to
become frightened and attempt to lay duties on Negro importation.
Slowly the people came to lament that their country was cursed by
this hellish practice. During the Revolutionary War, steps were taken
by the Continental Congress to check it. The framers of the Constitution
in 1787 had bitter debates upon this subject, they finally compromised
by agreeing that for twenty years no restriction should be placed on the
slave trade. But the difference between the two sections was becoming
The difference came out in great distinctness when in 1777 Vermont
prohibited the slavery of grown men and women. Pennsylvania in 1780
passed an act declaring that all persons born within the commonwealth
after the date of the act should be free. Massachusetts ml 780 de-
clared that "all men are born free and equal," and New Hampshire fol-
lowed with the same resolution in 1783. In Connecticut and Rhode
Island emancipation acts, similar to that of Pennsylvania, were passed
in 1784. By the ordinance of 1.787, freedom was guaranteed in the
whole territory north of the Ohio river and cast of the Mississippi river.
In 1799 New York passed a gradual emancipation act; and in 1S04 New
Jersey followed. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, in the
solid block of territory north of the Mason and Dixon line, slavery was
dead or dying. , ■ .
Mr. President, I shall not worry you by giving the details ol the slave
agitation during the fifty yeaTs preceding the Civil War. Suffice it
to say that in 1807 a bill was passed by Congress prohibiting the impor-
tation of slaves after 1808. In 1S20 the Missouri Compromise permitted
Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, but all other
states created out of the Louisiana Purchase north at ,36 30 north
latitude, were to be free; south of that, they could decide forthemselves
When California was ready for statehood, the Compromise of 1850
was consummated, admitting her as a free state. In 1854 the Kansas-
Nebraska Bill opened the way for the infuriated mobs to commit those
stunts that were a disgrace to even "bleeding Kansas."
It was not the above laws nor the debates in the Halls of Congress
that did most to spread the abolition and antislavery movements, but
the press, the pulpit, the platform, and the societies, under such leaders
as Garrison and Whittier, were the chief instruments that quickened
the nation's conscience. The awakening was the natural consequence
of the steady intellectual development of the people.
The people were aroused to fever heat, and it was certain that a rev-
olution would come. For three-quarters of-a century the quarrel had
been growing; there was no possible way of removing the cause that
would prove satisfactory to both parties. The war was as sure to fol-
low as night is to follow day. In the end every Negro in the United
States was made a free citizen. That result obeyed laws as unalterable
as the laws that govern this planet in its flight around the sun.
Mr. President, I beg your pardon for detaining you so long. But,
sir, I cannot pass this war without speaking one word in defense of my
father's comrades-in-arms. The constitutional right of secession is an
historical fact. The most radical gentleman of the majority cannot
deny it But it is not our purpose to debate the rights of secession-right
for the star's and stripes was a hero. ^\^f^%^tn^ tha
immortal with Lee deserves more pr » t*"*™ " ™£ ™f ve shal i
ever leveled a lance in defense of a fair lady. bl ^' ^Y r m never i the
not mention the past, "Let the past bury its d«d. N '^l^
heroism displayed upon a thousand bat tie heldb 1 iaa «" ug
fool thru simplicity. , Qm1i +k
Itl^^^T^r^^^^tsSZr for dis-
^ wtotf £2 = you are ideali^ H««^^
down South, we would co mpel ™ ito£* «£»g ^ ^KK»
for your ignorance, The .good I old «eg™eyou »e es „ are stiU
gST^TS; iicsoflhronie J^atio and chivalrous .South
■tSSKSrSB*. ex-slave, we are introduced to the =
buck of to-day. And what a ccmhiahon he ^ ^ **«££ his
SSSS^^SM ^7oirh b r a n f is to cast a reflection upon
the human race. „ r -hr»m von are raising this hue and
wflen tX e stability of our government depen, ^C of h^CoStutiol
its citizens. The man that is unable ^.^^^-tXt. To allow
^^trn^^X^Te-^^ Wdless of
nullification is to jeopardize our local government.
qU ! a y^u rive no aiiln.ee to offer^t *-S-^S2ffij£S
unincumbered by an additional weight Andwh^t a tordens
You do not figure their increase lite ^.^^^ with the present
£fe^t«^£ *^£^^ a majority at
^"multiplication of the full-blooded Negro is a serious problem
ability inherited from the whites,-make them far mora formidable, thus,
giving rise to a greater apprehension for our future.
Everywhere you find Negroes, and you will find them everywhere,
you will see a greater or less number of miilattoes. Under the present
conditions there is no possible way preventing this amalgamation. Not
one Negro wench in ten thousand is chaste, and that one is virtuous in
as much as it requires a little higher price to buy her than for the common
herd. And what of the white men who keep a Negro mistress? They
are mostly of the lower stratum, who are neither capable nor considerate
enough to think of the consequence of their sins. Southern gentlemen
will not debase themselves with such a practice, and, they condemn it
with greater severity than anyone. They see clearly the disastrous re
suits it will have upon their people.
With all this confronting them, the people have bestirred themselves
to discover some plan that will enable them to counteract these evils
Sir, I do not believe I will be violating my obligation if I mention some
of the secrets of this society. The society is known as "The Knights
of Light." The growth for the last two years is unparalleled by any
similar order. It has for its purpose a momentous question — the race
problem. The very cause that induced my countrymen to restrict the i
Negro vote led to its formation.
If you will be patient with me for a few minutes, I will explain to you
the purpose of this order, and the way they propose to accomplish it. -
In the fewest words possible, the purpose is this: To transport all
Negroes in the United States to Africa. As there is no law to compel
a coon to leave unless he wants to. the first step is to make him want to
emigrate. Every person who joins the lodge swears, among other things,
to assist the coons to the conclusion that it is to their interest to place the
Atlantic Ocean between themselves and the members of "The Knights of
The first step of this process of persuasion is simple and ligitimate.
The members, under severe penalty for a violation of the oath, swear
that after January, nineteen hundred nine, neither they nor any member
of their families will for any consideration: — (1) Sell a Negro anything
to eat, drink, or wear. (2) Rent them land, houses, or anything what-
soever. (3) Nor will any lawyer, teacher, preacher, or doctor give them
any professional assistance. (4) Fail to boycott any merchant who
sells to them or buys from them, the same with a hotel keeper or any-
one else who is not a member — members will not dare do any of the
above things. (5) Fail to buy anything the Negro has for sale; as , land
houses, stock, etc. (6) Fail to furnish any Negro with a ticket who
desires transportation to a seaport where passage to Africa might be
Speakers and agents are to tell them of the delightful home across
the Atlantic from whence they came. Nor is the press to be idle. All
manner of books, magazines, papers, and pamphlets, calculated to excite
a desire in them for a home across the pond, will be scattered among them.
Poor whites of the cities are to take the place of the Negroes who are
now working the large farms and plantations. Land owners who insist
on retaining Negro laborers and renters, instead of the poor whites,
will be dealt with in a summary manner that will not fail to convince
them that it will be to their interest to discard the coons.
By these and various other means that I shall not mention, life will
be made intolerable for the Negro, consequently, he will prefer any old
place rather remain in the South. With this much accomplished, an
agreement will be made with one of the provinces of Africa, Congo
State preferable, where some eleven or twelve millions of American
Negroes can be happily located.
Steamship companies are being organized that will undertake to
transport the Negroes, with all the movable property they might desire
to take with them, to their new home. Of course, they will be expected
to pay for their own passage, but if they cannot, and if there is not
enough money in their crowd or enough property left behind to satisfy
the shippers, they will be taken free.
When once there, it is the sworn duty of the members of the order to
assist them in getting a start in the new country by helping them exist,
until he can accustom himself to the climate and conditions of his home.
And it shall be the further duty of the Knights to see that when once
landed no coon shall ever return.
When these mild and humane means fail to put the Negroes to moving,
stronger measures will be taken. Methods, that with justice to my
constituents, I cannot mention. Suffice it to say, that if it requires
object lessons to convince the outsiders and the blacks that the Knights
mean business, a sufficient number will be given. Also, suitable penal-
ties will be inflicted upon traitor Knights, and those who violate their
obligations. For instance, we will have no more Booker T's. — those
saddle-colored misslips of a midnight's debauchery.
Sir you may laugh at the idea of such an order. You may say that
it is a band of cutthroats and robbers. You may denounce them as
lawbreakers; and say that such an order is a violation of the Consti-
tution and every member is subject to criminal prosecution. But
the order is there; and all the courts in the United States cannot convict
one member. It is a secret order, therefore, not one member will testily
against another; and the outsider will have no positive knowledge of the
work of the inner ring. But when the time arrives for the work to begin,
you will see an actual demonstration of this latent power.
A little over two years ago the first lodge was organized, smce then
the membership has been growing by leaps and bounds.
Alabama has.... ■ J^.39l members.
Arkansas has ■ 1 ,*'i iC
Florida has -Jf^K
Georgia has....... WW ^
Louisiana has lis 077
Mississippi has ■ At'tLt
Missouri has ■■- " ictriq
North Carolina has ■ li'fi? n
Oklahoma has - ??»X?i
Texas has , ■ ■■ ^,059 ^
Virginia has "* ,?r£oS
South Carolina has ..111,693
Total for the twelve states 1,503,155 members.
Agents are at work organizing in Kentucky and Tennessee.
You have the conditions before you as they actually exist. Ihe
question is not whether this is right or wrong; but, in the name of God,
what are you going to do about it? The proposition, with all its im-
perfections, is r nevertheless, a force you must reckon with. You may
discuss, investigate, and legislate, but while you are deliberating, the
South is growing more desperate. t ,
What would we do about it then? As I intimated m the beginning,
there is but one thing we can do — remove the cause. When you do this,
the trouble will cease. All your threats, all your use of force, will avail
nothing; anything short of the removal of the cause of the grievance will
Mr. President, the Federal Government should undertake this task.
You must not permit that unfortunate race to surfer unnecessary misery.
If the Negroes must go, and go they must, let them be banished with the
least possible cruelty. The Federal Government can transport them
with dispatch and certainty; private individuals would accomplish the
task with pain and difficulty.
Mr. President, I propose to lay before you a scheme, which, if closely
adhered to, will, with the minimum cost and time, enable the government
to accomplish this deportation.
First, the government must secure a home in Africa for the Negroes.
By a treaty with Congo State, a right could be obtained to settle them
in the most productive country in central Africa. They would add
strength to the native government, and at the same time, have all the
If with them a suitable treaty cannot be negotiated, satisfactory ar-
rangement can be made with France or England for a right to settle in
the Sudan. The men in authority of those two nations are too wise to
refuse a proposition that would increase the laboring population of their
foreign possessions; and that would flush their revenue several millions
a year. If settled in the Sudan, the Negroes will pass from under the
control of the United States into the control of the British or French,
which we can well afford to do with thanks in the bargain.
Secondly, the government must send agents among the Negroes to
encourage the migration, after the treaty is made for an African territory.
By telling them of the delightful climate, and rich soil where cotton and
all lands of fruit grow wild; where there are no white men to rape their
women and lynch the men; where they can have Negro officers and make
their own laws, and where freedom will be as unlimited as the sunshine
above their heads, the agents can persuade them to make preparation
to go. And I assure you, the Negroes will be found quite willing to go;
for they are as unsatisfied with the present conditions as we are. As an
old Negro expressed it, "The situation am vacant."
Thirdly, the government must help the Negroes dispose of their prop-
erty, thus prevent unscrupulous white men from cheating them out
of their possessions. Where they own farms, buy them with govern-
ment money — I will account for these farms later. Through the officers
and the system of exchange, the Negroes can sell their property, or
trade it for merchandise they will need in their new home. In a thousand
ways this Bureau of Trade will be helpful.
Fourthly, transportation to Africa must be furnished them in govern-
ment ships, or in ships sailing under government contracts. The Negroes
will pay the actual cost of the passage, when they are able.
Fifthly, protection from hostile tribes, and, as far as possible against
disease, must be guaranteed. If settled in Congo State, the United
States, assisted by the Negroes themselves, must furnish the protection. I
If settled in the Sudan, the French or English, in which one's territory
the colony is made, must guarantee protection.
By following this simple plan, the United States can rid herself of this
abominable race. We have been the dumping ground for the world
long enough. It is our move; let's move toward the kingline, then,
when they jump them over, we can jump them back.
I hear you protest that the rice farms; the sugar-caneplantations, and
the cotton-fields, cannot spare the Negro laborers. That porti.ons of
the South where the whites cannot exist, the blacks thrive. That to
take out ten millions of the denizens of the South will improvish the
richest sections of the nation. You are partly right. But the deporta-
tion of the Negroes is only half of the scheme we propose.
The other half is to secure Teutonic immigrants to populate the dis-
tricts made desolate. The ships that take cargoes of Negroes can re-
turn by way of Europe and bring back an equal number of trcrmamc
passengers. Is there a Negro-loving Yankee that would object to that
But you say it takes two' to make a trade- Then how are we to secure
our Teutonic 'immigrants? The same way we calculate moving the poor
whites from the northern and southern cities to the plantations formerly
worked by the blacks— offering inducements they can see clearly will
be to their interest to accept.
Mr President, the first thing for the government to do is send agents
to those overcrowded countries to tell the people of the middle-class
of our sunny southland, where the harvest is plentiful and the laborers
are few Send agents to England, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Den-
mark, Netherlands and Belgium, where more than 120,000,000 people
live upon an area of 665,855 square miles. (In the United States we
have not counting the Negroes, about 65,000,000 people living upon
3,556,600 square miles.) If those people in those densely populated
countries knew of the many opportunities here, they would be delighted
to come, when a way is offered them, to our states where a comfortable
home may be had at reasonable terms; and employment at living-wages
can be secured for their sons and daughters.
Instruct our Commissioners to make speeches whereever they go.
Furnish them with literature to scatter broadcast among the people
Let them organize the middle-class into immigration societies. And
when the people understand the state of affairs, they will make prepara-
tion to leave their fatherland, and accept the reasonable rate of transporta-
tion for the new land beyond the sea.
Secondly, when our Teutonic kinsmen arrive, assist them in securing
homes If they have money to make a payment on a home, sell them
the farms the government bought of the Negroes, and other state and
government lands. There are thousands of land owners, who are
anxious to divide their large farms and ranches, and sell them
in small tracts to industrious farmers. Think of the broad nver valleys,
and millions of acres of coast land, that only waits the hand of industry
to yield an hundred fold, whereon multitudes of those thrifty folks could
live in luxury. We need more intensive instead of so much extensive
farming Not a county in the South yields its full limit. The richest
land we have is unfilled. We need those Dutch farmers to teach us how
to cultivate this land.
Employment bureaus could assist all to obtain work who are unable
to buy land. Give those economical folks our customary wages, and they
will save enough in a little while to buy a home.
While we are importing those thrifty folks, we will be, at the same
time checking that ilood of undesirable immigrants, who will soon reach
a sufficient number to absorb the Teutonic element of the American
people. Sir, I will not dwell here, for I fear you have already classed me
with the dreamers of schemes impossible for the gods to perform.
Mr President, I have only one more phase of this subject to consider,
then I shall bring my remarks to a close. But with your permission, 1
shall not think of closing until I shall have discussed that topic.
fe come now to the consideration of the moral right of the plan we
have elucidated. *irst and foremost, this nation must and shall be
preserved. To do a great good, do a little wrong," and -Of two evils
choose the less It is wron^ to imprison our fellowmcn, it is horrible
to hang a man, but to free society from the contamination of such people
for hrSfri \T w f ed * -i 3 ? 11 * ?°V ay the Ne ^° is not ^sponsible
for being here. We reply, neither is the man you hang responsible for
being in the world We need punish the criminal for the good of society
we must ship the Negro to save the nation. y
Again, the deteriorating effects of our present social system arc causing
the American people to degenerate. We are fast becoming an effeminat-
ed and inferior race of men. The infusion of new Teutonic blood is
needed. The great nations of the past have been the mixed people
The commanding position of the English nation, and our present great-
ness is due mainly to the amalgamation of the different Germanic peonies
of which we arc composed. All that is left us is choose with whom we
shall blend. Do you prefer having our country populated with pure-
blooded whites or filled with illegitimate leather-colored coons?
What a contrast, sir, there will be in the results of that choice. You
know too well the condition of the South, and what will surely follow
if the Negroes are allowed to remain. But unfold the curtains of the
future and behold the South after the colonization of twenty-five mil-
lions industrious whites. Tell me, did you ever witness a pleasantcr
sight than the ten thousand blue-eyed, rosy^cheeked, laughing boys and
girls with their golden curls tossed by the summer breeze, as they run
and play ? J
Moreover, sir, it is not only the survival of the fittest, but God wills it
I he hand of Providence is in it all. It has been truthfully said: "There
is a law higher than the Constitution." The Negroes were brought here
to be civilized and christianized. Now, they are to be returned to the
heart of their fatherland to preach the glad tidings to every living soul
in that ost Continent. It will be the greatest missionary move ever
projected in the history of the Church, and will terminate by regaining
the whole continent for the Master. h
This is an age of invention and commerce, and I know there are some
who look at everything from the standpoint of profit and loss. Even
the propagation of the Gospel does not appeal to them. A material
advantage alone has weight with them, Yet they need not despair
tor it does not require a prophet to see that a lively commerce will spring
up between the United States and her African colonics. By judicious
dealings, our foreign commerce will be greatly augmented
Not only a commercial advantage, but the expansionist will find a
broad field for his diplomatic abilities. The United States of America,
if she desires, can gam a foothold in Africa.
*JSVfi^ pla V S bef " re .y° l \ Fr °™ beginning to end.it is simplicity
personified; and considering the tremendous consequences its rejection
or acceptance will have upon all the people, and remembering its effects
will reach every home in the South, both black and white, it behooves
us to give it our careful consideration. I fully appreciated the fact
that this scheme has little m common with the bill under discussion;
lor tins bill is the forerunner of the great crisis that must be met. Shall
we pass this bill, and other similar ones that will speedily follow; and thus
permit this Government of the people and Tor the people and by the
people to perish from the earth? God forbid? Let us rather substitute
one that will eliminate the curse of the nation; and by so doing receive
the blessings of posterity. °
A PAPER READ BY A PROMINENT EDUCATOR BEFORE THE
CONFERENCE OF EDUCATION.
Mr. President, Fellow Teachers, Ladies and Gentlemen:— When the
news of the defeat at Jena spread a v.eil of gloom over the land , and Prus-
sia was ground under the heel of Napoleon; when Frederick William III.
was stripped of his possessions, and Germany was humbled to the dust;
when not one of all her loyal subjects would dare resent the insults heaped
upon their beautiful Queen Louise by the Corsican tyrant, then the
great Counselor, directed by "Father John," sought the regeneration
of das Dcutschland through universal education. The members of
the "League of Virtue" sang their college songs and discussed
the wrongs of their country, and drank their beer to the hope of a con-
federation yet unborn. The Army of Frederick the Great bad grown
old; the only hope remaining was in popular education. Thus Germany
worked out her own salvation, and thus must we. If we expect to re-
move the curse of illiteracy, and uplift the ignorant; if wc expect to
counteract the increasing social evils and ultimately reach the Utopia,
we must look for our help in universal training.
Wc are met here, fellow teachers, to discover just where the defects
in our present system are. The greatest deficiencies arc in the elementary
and intermediate schools. We do not wish, however, to depreciate what
the teacher and school have done for society, they have been of incal-
culable benefit. But if our social and political panacea is education,
a lively interest should be manifest in its perfection. The
common district schools lack uniformity in their curriculum. Rarely
are the pupils properly classed, English being generally ignored. In
one school the boys and girls have only two or three studies apiece; in
another, they will have so many books that they need a wheelbarrow
to carry them. And another more serious defect is the short term.
The schools continue from sixteen to twenty weeks, and in the cottan-
gruwing, states where the children pick cotton until Christmas, then stop
the middle of March to plant corn, they attend ten or twelve weeks in
a year* Now add to this the poor accommodations found in the majority
of the country school-houses, supplemented by the meager training
of the instructors who teach them, and you can account for the prevalent
illiteracy. Again, the more fortunate children who receive the advan-
tage of the full term, and who desire to enter high school, find, to their
sorrow, they are not prepared to enter any one grade, consequently,
must be placed back where it requires some time for them to even up
where they should have been at the beginning. But the most lamentable
defect is that those who leave the country schools to assume the re-
sponsibility of citizenship arc not prepared to confront the perplexities
of modern life.
In the secondary schools conditions are somewhat better, but very
little, The high schools arc so inconveniently situated for a large ma-
jority of the children that they are practically without the advantage
of high-school training. Many of the elementary schools taught by
one, or possibly two teachers, make an effort to supply those higher
courses. If the teacher succeeds in benefiting her more advanced pupils,
the smaller children will necessarily suffer from neglect. Thus by at-
tempting too much, the teacher is often brought to grief But in those
schools that have departments devoted exclusively to nigh-school training
and where there is no lack of competent teachers, a uniform system of
grading is wanting. It is a sad fact, but true, nevertheless, that many
of those high-school graduates with reputable class standing are unable
to pass a state examination for a second-class certificate, - While graduates
with similar standing from another school purporting to give the same
number of grades, could easily secure a state permanent certificate.
Then it is no wonder that so few of the schools are affiliated with the
university. Bearing all this in mind, and remembering there is a total
absence of manual training, you will not be surprised that we are ad-
We are not objecting that manual training is poorly taught; but that
it is not taught at all. The seven hand tools — the axe, saw, plane,
hammer, square, chisel, and file, with their modifications in the modern
machine shops may be regarded as the great civilizing agency of the
world, and the child in an industrial age should be well "acquainted with
them. This acquaintance can be made best and quickest by manual
training, which connects tbc child with the active world, thus rendering
this world of tilings and deeds intelligible.
Notwithstanding all the above defects and the crying need for reform,
it will be in this case as in.all others, the masses will blindly oppose it
The more ignorant a people are, the more determinedly will they reject
any innovation. They unhesitatingly brand all such" efforts as some
rascal's scheme, to get rich quick. And to make reform still more difficult,
there are always demagogues who are ready to champion the people's
clannish superstitions in order to further their own popularity.
The people's conception of an education is an erroneous one- A
knowledge of the three R's is all they think necessary. They see the
utilitarian feature only. And how could they think 'otherwise? For
within their limited experience and learning the noble elements of man
lie dormant, with not an associated idea to spur them to action. They
having never tasted of the Wine of Wisdom, as a matter of course, have
no desire for it. A store of isolated facts; as, the height of Pike's Peak,
the number of chapters in the Bible, and the number of inches in the
circumference of the earth, is what they want. When I began making
preparations to enter the University, several of my friends came to mc
and advised me not to spend my money foolishly, and asked me why 1
wanted to continue going to school, and what" else was there that I
expected to learn. They assured me that I knew more than they, and
so far, they had succeeded in life.*'
The laity's misconception of a genuine education brings out one of the
striking differences between an educated and an uneducated mars. In
the short time allotted for the reading of this paper, we cannot under-
take to contrast the main difference of the two classes from a psycholog-
"The real object of genuine republican education," says Dr. Kliot,
"is the discovery and development of the inborn capacities and powers
of each individual, and the increase, through increased efficiency and
seryiceableness, of his happiness, of his enjoyment of the solid, human
satisfactions-— health, productive labor, and social and domestic life.
Locke observes; "Out of one hundred men, more than ninety are
good or bad, useful or harmful tc society, owing to the education they
Leibnitz remarked: "Entrust me with education, and in less than a]
century I will change the face of Europe."
We concur with" Dr. Eliot when he advocates the doctrine that
education is to prepare a man for real active life. It is, indeed, "The
discovery and development of the inborn capacities and powers of each
individual," It is that preparation, that training, necessary to prepare
one for complete living.
From the above condition, we conclude that some definite school
system should be inaugurated that will be more in harmony with the
demands of the times- I make bold tc venture a plan for an ideal system,
which, we hope will meet with your favorable consideration.
The system should he characterized by a maximum of local indepen-
dence and with a minimum of central control. Education should be
universal, compulsory, and secular.
Besides the special" schools; as, normals for teachers, institutes for the
blind, etc., there are three main divisions: the common, or district
schools; the industrial, or training school, the university.
DIVISION I.— THE COMMON SCHOOL,
Without references to county boundary lines, the state should be
surveyed into districts six miles square. Each district will contain
thirty-six square miles. A substantial school house consisting of not
less than two rooms should be built near the center of the district, using,
as far as possible, the school building that chanced to fall within the
district. This would place a school in four miles of the most distant
home In connection with this, there should be erected a teacher's
residence of at least four comfortable rooms; also, if convenient, truck
patch of twenty acres of land, should be set aside for the use of the
T J* ""l 11 f* 1"S
That the people, might feel a personal interest in their school the im-
mediate supervision should be, as far as expedient, by local authority.
Tliree trustees should be elected, each serving three years, one retiring
and another elected each year. They should have general control of
the school, as, employing and dismissing teachers, etc.
Besides the funds received from the state and county appropriation,
a local tax of not less than twenty cents on* the one hundred dollars
valuation should be collected. A district in the productive black land
belt would have, say one hundred fifty scholars at six dollars per capita,
equal nine hundred dollars. Allowing a rendition of forty dollars per
acre for the land, with a special school tax of twenty-five cents on the
one hundred dollars, it would amount to two thousand, three hundred
fifty dollars, this plus the state appropriation would pay incidental
expenses, and four competent teachers living wages.
As I intimated in the beginning, the attendance should be compulsory.
Each child between the ages of -six and sixteen should be compelled by
state to attend thirty-two weeks in each year. Parents and guardians
should be fined for all unexcused absences. Protracted sickness and so
on, would, of course, be lawful excuse. Those pupils who could not
finish the ten year course by the time they reach sixteen should be allowed
to continue free of tuition for an indefinite time, or until they did finish
The course of study should be divided into three parts, the primary,
the intermediate, and the high school. The curriculum should be ar-
ranged by a state board, appointed for that purpose. They should meet
everv two years and make all necessary changes.
We shall not undertake the task of saying just what should be taught
in each grade; however, the high school should be sufficiently advanced
for every disLrieL school to be affiliated with the University. While
affiliation with the universities should not be lost sight of, courses in
agriculture and manual training ought to be given.
All graduates from these common schools shall be eligible to enter
the training school without examination. Free scholarships to the teach-
er's normals and to the University should be given to these of except! anal
ability. Thus by constantly selecting those of Lhc highest class standing
for the special work, the professional men and women will he of the best
brain the country affords.
The question of teachers is an important one. No teacher shottJd be
required to teach more than forty scholars. All teachers must be normal
graduates or have university degrees. And they shall be elected for
not less than two years nor more than five, They must teach thirty-two
weeks rn each year, but if a majority of the teachers desire it, and 'there
is enough money appropriated to the school, the school might continue
more than thirty-two weeks, however, the attendance after the regular
term expires will not be compulsory,
The number of teachers in a school will be governed by the number of
scholars. The ten grades will be taught in districts with as many as two
teachers. In thinly settled counties where one teacher can teach the
school, the advanced scholars from several adjoining districts will have
to employ a special teacher, each district represented paying its pro rata.
The question we teachers are most interested in is salary. Take the
district mentioned above as a typical example: —
150 scholars at $6 per capita. $ 900
25c. tax on land at $40 per aero 2,304
Principal per year ftl.OOO
First Assistant per year g00
First Assistant per year 800
Second Assistant per year 650
Primary per year ... 700
Blalance for incidentals _ 54
Balance 3,204 3 t 204
In addition to the one thousand dollars salary, the principal is to have
free of rent the teacher's residence; and all produced on the truck patch.
1 his patch is to be used in teaching agriculture.
Of course, you understand that the regulations coneerning the si#e of .
the district, etc., doss not pertain to the towns and cities that have con-
trol of their schools. They shall however, have the same grading in the
primary intermediate, and high school; also, they shall have universal,
compulsory, and secular education.
DIVISION II.— THE TRAINING SCHOOL'.
_ At or near the center of a square containing thirty-six districts, a train-
ing school or industrial school, should be located, The school would be
m twenty-five miles of the farthest home.
The Training School is to be a state institution, sin-ported, and partially
controlled by the thirty-six districts in which it is located, hence, the
tuition should be free, All graduates of the common school, both sexes,
may attend. Men and women over twenty-five years old who have no
diploma from the common school may be admitted tinder certain condi-
tions as special students,
The motor training to be given will require two veurs for completion.
Ihe first year will be a continuation of the manual training given in the
district schools, supplemented by gymnasium drills, and a course in
English, etc., special attention being given to agriculture.
Ihe second year should be of a more industrial nature. Work in the
shop, with the major part devoted to scientific farming, stock raising
and so on, thus bridging the impossible gulf separating the home and
the school. The co-ordination of the brain and the mind, with a deeper
understanding of the thousand and one things that ordinarily are of no
interest to the farm laborer, the farm-life will be exalted and the breach
between the farmer and the professional man will be lessened, which will
have a tendency to keep our boys and girls on the farm.
The disposition to undervalue the land is an inheritance from the
speculative philosophy of the Middle Ages, which was based on contempt
ol the body and its members. Contempt for the body has generated a
feeling of contempt for manual work and has multiplied dishonest prac-
tices in the course of the struggle to acquire wealth by other means than
manual labor. The active participation of children in manual training
ought to correct the false notion so_ prevalent among children that man-
ual labor is less worthy than professional occupation. It would tend to
unify society instead of to stratify it.
When 1 talk of manual training and industrial schools, I find most
people do not fully understand. Industrial training finds great excellence
in automatic and mechanical execution as means to pecuniary advantage.
Manual training finds its great excellence rather in the keener intellect,
more accurate muscular control and judgment. Manual Training is
defined by the American Manual Training Association as, any form of
constructive work that serves to develop the powers of the pupil through
spontaneous and intelligent Self-activity.
To be more definite, Manual Training includes free hand and technical
drawing, work in wood and metal, domestic science, cooking, dress
making, pattern making, printing, Swedish sloyd, Russian tool practice,
Ideally when the boys begin the bench work, the girls should have a
chance for training in" Domestic Science, plain and fancy sewing, and
cooking, laundering, ventilation and care of heating plants, etc.
The average industrial school could reasonably expect from the thirty-
six districts represented an enrollment of one hundred fifty regular
students. This would command a corps of four teachers, one for the
academic branches; one lady for the girls industrial training; and two
men for the shop and held work,
The instructor 111 the academic branches should be a graduate of the
University. The lady should be a graduate of an industrial college
While the other two men should have diplomas from the Agricultural and
Mechanical College. _ ,
Pay for the teachers and the various other expenses could !ue derived
from two sources. First, part of the state appropriation. Secondly,
from special tax-
One industrial districts which will contain thirty-six common districts,
as considered above,
30 District, 150 scholars per district.
5400 scholars at 50c per capita from state $2,700
Local tax, ft64 per district 2,304
Total fund...... $5,004
Principal teacher for year ■. $1 h200
Two instructors, $1000 each per year.-.....- 2,000
Lady assistant, per year - &00
'Total.... 1 ' ----- - W.000
Which would be ample for sundry expenses and purchasing supplies.
There should be elected from among the people seven directors who,
under the supervision of the State Superintendent of the Industrial
Schools, should govern the Industrial Schools in accordance to the State
Industrial School Laws.
The regular term should be nine months. The school should be free
to all who satisfied entrance requirements. A summer session of two
months for men and women over twenty-five should have no entrance
requirements more than citizenship and good moral character.
This two months term should be devoted to lessons in scientific farming,
diversification of crops, care and breeding of live stock, preservation
of food stuff, etc. By giving thesis free lessons to the farmers and ranch-
men, they individually would be benefited, and from, an economical
standpoint, the state would be helped,
DIVISION III.— THE UNIVERSITY.
The university should consist of at least five different divisions: the
school of arts.; the school of laws; the school of medicine; the school of
engineering, and the agricultural and mechanical department.
Strong courses in the school of arts should be maintained, leading to
the A. B., A. M., and Ph. D. degrees.
All graduates of the common schools who have done satisfactory work,
and who have completed the ten year course by their seventeenth year
shall be admitted without examination. Graduates of the industrial
schools will receive credit for one year's work.
Law students, before entering the Law Department, must take the four-
year preparatory course prescribed for prospective law students, leading
to Lho A. B, degree. After they shall have finished the academic work,
two years more will be required for graduation in the Law Department.
Also, the medical students must do four years work, taking the prospec-
tive medical student's prescribed preparatory course in the school of
Arts, then three years in the Department of Medicine before receiving
the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
The graduates of the common schools may enter the Department of
Engineering, and receive their degrees when they have done satisfactory
work for four terms.
The Agricultural and Mechanical Department should make the same
entrance and graduation requirements as the Engineering Department,
save graduates of the Industrial schools should receive credit for one year
There .should be maintained and controlled b}' the State ten normals
for the training of teachers. The course should consist of three years'
work' for graduation. No one should be admitted who has not finished
the public school work. As. the normal is to be supported by the state,
the tuition should be free. Those who attend the normals should be
required to sign a pledge to teach for a specified number of years in the
For every thirty-six districts, there should be a school for truants
and incorrigible pupils. These schools should be controlled by state officers ;
and should be supported by the parents or guardjans'of the children who
attend them, "ft hen a child is sent there, the parents~are to be compelled
by the state to pay for the child's board and tuition.
The teachers and trustees of the district the child lives in are to be sole
judges as to whether the child's conduct merits placing him in the school
of incorrigibleSr While the law shall determine how many cases of truancy
are necessary for conviction.
The length of time the child is retained in the school depends on the
nature of the charges and on his conduct while retained.
The state should maintain a sufficient number of schools for the defec-
tive, the deaf and dumb, the blind, etc.
This is,, briefly stated, the system we hope in the near future to see
adapted by every southern state. Rome was not built in a day, neither
can we accomplish everything at once. We must patiently labor, gain-
ing little by little, never retreating, ever forward.
That we may approximate the'ideal t be on the alert to assist every
possible move £or the better, let every man and woman stand firm for .
the proposed amendment of article seven, section three, of the Constitu-
tion of Texas, which reads: iL That two-lhirds of the qualified property
tax-paying voters voting at an election to be held for that purpose,
shall vote such tax not to exceed in any one year, twenty cents on the
one hundred dollars valuation of. property subject to taxation in such
district." Which will read if amended: "That a majority of the qualified
property tax-paying voters voting at an election to be held for that
purpose, shall vote such tax not to exceed in any one year fifty cents on
the one hundred dollars valuation of property subject to taxation, in ,
such district." By securing the passage of this amendment, we will be
making a long leap in the right direction
The present law is undemocratic, because all good Democrats are willing
for the majority to rule. This law, as it now stands, permits a majority
of the parents to prevent the majority from providing a better school
for their children. To illustrate: a few days ago in a school district
in south Texas the citizens attempted to vote a special school tax often
cents on the one hundred dollars valuation of property. Forty-eight
voted against it; ninety-four voted for it, thus lacking two votes carrying.
Here the laws of Texas allow forty-eight ignorant, non-enterprising men
to say to ninety-four intelligent, enterprising citizens, "You cannot
build up a decent school in this neighborhood, that you may educate your
children at" home, but you must spend your hard-earned cash to send
them to town to school, for we, the 'Big Forty-Eight,' prefer to keep our
children in Ignorance, like their dads/'
The present law discriminates between town and country children;
for the citizens of a town can vote more money for support of their school
. than the country people can for the support of the country school. No
matter how anxious the country people are to vote enough tax to build
a good school house, and employ a sufficient number of competent teach-
ers, they can vote only a twenty-cent tax. Though the law virtually
says that the town children are better than the country children, where
is the Solon that will maintain this view? The town furnishes us with
dudes; the country supplies us with men.
If we can secure" the passage of this amendment, soon a majority of the
districts will have better schools. The masses will gradually improve
intellectually until a few years hence we can propose the Ideal System,
and"carry it by popular vote.
With the Ideal System in perfect working order, the millennium will be
dawning. To see every man and woman with a practical education
going about his or her chosen work with a trained hand and brain and
with a willing heart, is a condition worth striving for. Then we shall hear
no more of Socialists and Anarchists, but men and women will take a
philosophical view of life, realizing that it is with them whether their
future will be darker or brighter. The jails will be empty, and the
penitentiaries will be turned into homes for the poor. We will hear no
more of the poor man's burdens, for the problem will have b-een solved.